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Powerful Pulleys

Students continue to explore the story of building a pyramid, learning about the simple machine called a pulley. They learn how a pulley can be used to change the direction of applied forces and move/...
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4 (3-5) Lesson 4728
Designing Bridges

Students learn about the types of possible loads, how to calculate ultimate load combinations, and investigate the different sizes for the beams (girders) and columns (piers) of simple bridge design. ...
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8 (6-8) Lesson 4039
Physics of Roller Coasters

Students explore the physics exploited by engineers in designing today's roller coasters, including potential and kinetic energy, friction and gravity. First, students learn that all true roller coast...
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7 (7-9) Lesson 3940
Potato Power

Students use potatoes to light an LED clock (or light bulb) as they learn how a battery works in a simple circuit and how chemical energy changes to electrical energy. As they learn more about electri...
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4 (3-5) Activity 3876
Straw Bridges

Working as engineering teams, students design and create model beam bridges using plastic drinking straws and tape as their construction materials. Their goal is to build the strongest bridge with a t...
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8 (6-8) Activity 3569
Earthquake in the Classroom

Students learn how engineers construct buildings to withstand damage from earthquakes by building their own structures with toothpicks and marshmallows. Students test how earthquake-proof their buildings are by testing them on an earthquake simulated in a pan of Jell-O®. 5 (3-5) Activity 3533
Engineering: Simple Machines

Simple machines are devices with few or no moving parts that make work easier. Students are introduced to the six types of simple machines — the wedge, wheel and axle, lever, inclined plane, screw, ...
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4 (3-5) Lesson 3021
What Is the Best Insulator: Air, Styrofoam, Foil or Cotton?

That heat flows from hot to cold is an unavoidable truth of life. People have put a lot of effort into stopping this natural physical behavior, however all they have been able to do is slow the proces...
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4 (3-5) Activity 2765
Strength of Materials

Students learn about the variety of materials used by engineers in the design and construction of modern bridges. They also find out about the material properties important to bridge construction and ...
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8 (6-8) Lesson 2678
Building Roller Coasters

Students build their own small-scale model roller coasters using pipe insulation and marbles, and then analyze them using physics principles learned in the associated lesson. They examine conversions ...
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7 (7-9) Activity 2647
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